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The Missabe Road

The Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway

2003
Author:

Frank A. King

The Missabe Road

The history of the ore boom on the Iron Range and the role railroads played

In this history of the ore boom on the Iron Range and the role railroads played, Frank King tells the complete story of the DM&IR: its construction, early operation, line extensions, passenger service, rolling stock, steam locomotives, and today’s modern diesels.

Clear, well-organized narrative recounts the construction and operation of the railroads in the context of the development of the iron mining industry of which they were and are an integral part.

Minnesota History

In 1865, the nation’s largest iron ore deposits were discovered in northern Minnesota, and life in the area was irrevocably altered as an economic boom transformed the region. In the 1880s and 1890s, two railroads, the Duluth and Iron Range Rail Road and the Duluth, Missabe and Northern Railway (which later merged), moved massive shipments of ore to the docks on Lake Superior.

The Missabe Road tells the complete story of the DM&IR: its construction, early operation, line extensions, passenger service, rolling stock, steam locomotives, and today’s modern diesels. Frank King examines underground and open pit mining operations, modern-day taconite mining, the handling and transportation of ore to the docks, and the loading of boats.

The Missabe Road

Frank A. King (1923–1985) worked for the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway for his entire career, retiring as senior industrial engineer. His articles and photographs appeared in Trains Magazine, Railroad Magazine, and other publications.

The Missabe Road

Clear, well-organized narrative recounts the construction and operation of the railroads in the context of the development of the iron mining industry of which they were and are an integral part.

Minnesota History

This is a book for the railroad buff and the general reader.

Choice

King has collected excellent pictures of the early miners, railroaders and financiers as well as the settlers. In addition, he includes in his book marvelous photographs (almost portraits) of the early locomotives. King’s book takes the story of the Missabe Road down to the present day with a chapter on the development of the taconite industry. But those early depots, the single tracks, the crews on the ore trains and the pictures of the hard rock miners are the ones that arouse admiration for these adventures.

Saint Paul Pioneer Press

Railroad and steam buffs will find a feast in Frank A. King’s book The Missabe Road.

Hibbing Daily Tribune

It’s quite delightful to journey through the tracks of time where one finds the development of Northeastern Minnesota and its renowned iron ore mines through the fascinating history of the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway Co.

Duluth Herald

King tells the Missabe Road story in splendid detail from its chartered beginning in 1874 through the railway’s acquisition of Electro-Motive SD38 locomotives in 1971. In addition to the interesting and insightful text, each chapter is profusely illustrated with photos germane to the subject matter or time period at hand. King was no stranger to mining and railway industries and idd a superb job of explaining the transition from shipping natural ore to taconite pellets, as well as pointing out the numerous operational advantages offered by the later. The University of Minnesota is to be commended for putting this outstanding volume back in print.

The Michigan Railfan